Tag Archives: Harry Potter

In the Middle


All photos in this post come from our Family 2013 Album and most of them were taken by Grandpa Haddad.

I’ve been trying to hold off on writing this blog post because we’re just in the middle of so many things. But it’s been so long that I feel bad every day for not providing any updates at all. So while this isn’t the blog post I wanted to write (I’ll have to wait a little while before these things all come to fruition), it is the blog post you deserve.

First of all, it’s been so stinking long since I last wrote (about 424 days, sorry) that I just can’t remember everything that has been happening. My memory already feels sub-par, and to expect myself to recall any details from the last year+ would be ludicrous.

So the plan is to resume posting as though you haven’t missed anything. You have missed some things (the cover photo is from a trip my parents made out here to visit us in April this year), but don’t worry about it. You’ll soon forget all about that big black hole in the middle of my already poorly spaced post history.

Unfortunately, this post will be somewhat lackluster since I really can’t reveal too much about what we’re in the middle of. There are a lot of things that I can’t tell you about until we’re done with them. No, nobody is pregnant and none of the unfinished stuff is bad news. But we can’t just go around talking about things and getting you all excited only to find out that things didn’t go according to plans. So that’s that. Speaking of which, a previously announced project has died. Just forget I ever said anything.

Books We are Reading

Brian

Reading? Uh… Since the last post I’ve completed two books. I’m a slow reader, and they were both embarrassingly short books. The first was hilarious and I recommend it to everyone: The Young Visiters[sic], or Mister Salteena’s Plan by Daisy Ashford. Look it up on Wikipedia. It’s a fantastic book with a rather (or should I say “rarther”) odd history.

I also finished Man-Eaters of Kumaon by Jim Corbett. Jim Corbett recently joined my short list of heroes in life after I discovered him on Wikipedia. He is witty, a great storyteller, and one heck of a man.

It’s interesting that both of these books come from the turn of the last century (late 1800s to early 1900s). I didn’t do that on purpose.

I am currently reading Harry Potter (the first book) to the kids (both Sophie and Micah – I’m so glad Sophie’s been able to sit still while I read to them) whenever I get a chance, and for myself I am in the middle of Start with Why. It’s not a great read so far but the ideas are sound.

Rochelle

Rochelle doesn’t stop reading. I have a hard time keeping up with what she’s read and what she’s reading. She got a new Kindle Paperwhite for her birthday this year and has been absolutely loving it. We’re thrilled that these wonderful devices are so inexpensive (relatively speaking). I’ve been using the now unavailable Kindle Touch for a couple years now and I’ve loved it. I have to admit that Rochelle’s Kindle is nicer. Mine works just fine for me though.

That being said, now that we are both kindle users we have been stockpiling kindle books left and right. We enjoy watching for books we love to appear in the daily deals (sometimes being discounted to just a dollar or two).

How the Kids Are

Micah


Like I said, we’re in the middle of some big things for and with Micah. I can’t provide too much of an update on what I want to talk about, but I can say that he has been enjoying his summer break. He and Sophie have been working hard keeping Rochelle as far from sanity as possible.

This week he’s been attending a daily scout camp. They’ve been going on nature walks and visiting museums and who knows what else. Perhaps we’ll have to bring back the feature where he writes his own entry here. He’s not terribly good at keeping me up to date with what’s been going on in his life. It’s not all his fault though – I’ve been working the night shift and I just don’t get much time with the kids. Everything I write, for the most part, is recounted to me by Rochelle.

Other than the scout activities, he’s been, like his mother, reading a lot. Beside that and what I’m not going to tell you about there just isn’t much to say. It’s 3:30 in the morning so I can’t exactly ask him for any additional input. Once more of our in-progress things have come to a close I’ll have a lot more to share here.

I often feel a little bad about how much I write about Sophie and how little I write about Micah. The thing is that Micah is generally quiet at home and keeps to himself. He’s very interesting, but he doesn’t often share with me or interact with us in a way that gives me good stories to tell.

Sophie


Sophie’s growing and getting ready for her first year of school. She’s getting very good at reading and basic (very basic) math. We often find her on the couch or in her bed sitting quietly with a book.

In fact, I wish I had the photo (I’ll try to get Rochelle to send it to me from her phone so I can post it next time) – recently we’ve been trying to get Sophie to skip naps since she won’t get naps in school. One day (this was a few months ago) she was sent off to play quietly in her room around nap time. She was specifically told that she didn’t have to take a nap. But when we went in to check on her a couple hours later we found her passed out on her back in bed with a book opened over her face. It was adorable, and we love that our kids love reading so much.

Edit: Here’s the photo. It’s great.

Though I don’t have many more details to share from the last year and change I can tell you two stories that Rochelle has recently shared with me about Sophie.

First, she knows she’s going to kindergarten this coming school year, but for the longest time when Rochelle would ask her if she was ready for school she would say something like, “um… no, not ready yet.” This went on for a month or longer. Then, just in the last week or so Rochelle was driving somewhere with the kids and Sophie was sitting quietly in her booster seat contemplating things (like she normally does when she’s not terrorizing Micah) when she broke the silence and said something to the effect of, “OK. I’m ready to go to school now.”

After giving it some thought for a while she has decided that she is ready. That’s Sophie.

Finally, several months ago Rochelle showed the kids a YouTube video she thought was funny. You’re going to have to go watch it, so I’ve embedded it below.

Anyhow, the kids call it the “trololo song.” When Rochelle showed it to the kids Micah expressed that he didn’t care for it (or something like that). As far as I know Sophie was indifferent. Since then, though, Sophie has figured out that she can bother Micah whenever she wants by humming or singing the trololo song. In the car (again) Sophie was humming the tune to the trololo song and it was really getting on Micah’s nerves. Rochelle told him something along the lines of, “if you don’t react that way she won’t keep singing it.” Micah has heard that quite a bit, and he doesn’t like that advice. This time he decided to come up with his own way of combating her annoying behavior.

“I know,” he said. “I’ll just sing something she finds equally annoying. That’ll get her to quit.” He thought about it for a second and couldn’t think of anything. So he decided to ask Sophie. “Sophie, what is your least favorite song that you think is really annoying?”

And without missing a beat Sophie leaned in real close and said in a very serious, matter-of-fact way, “the trololo song.” Micah was defeated.

Oh! That reminds me of another Sophie and Micah related story that also involves music. You’re going to have to watch another video to understand this one as well. Watch the whole thing (it’s short).

One morning Rochelle was walking Micah to school with Sophie shortly after showing this video to the kids. Micah loved this one and was singing the song the whole way. Rochelle, meanwhile, was talking to her mother on the phone. At some point Sophie ended up with the phone talking to her grandmother. Sophie decided she was done and it was time for Micah to talk to grandma. Grandma couldn’t hear it, but Micah was still singing, “I have a bad case of diarrhea” in the background. Sophie’s chosen method of handing off the phone was, “Grandma, Micah has something he needs to tell you.” Micah got embarrassed and couldn’t take the phone. Rochelle took it nearly in tears laughing. Grandma didn’t know what was funny until Rochelle explained it to her. I thought it was pretty slick of Sophie to think of saying it that way.

We are also in the middle of something for Sophie, but I’m not going to talk about it since progress has been slow. Ha ha. I was going to give you a clue but I decided not to.

Until Later

In addition to the thing with Micah and the other thing with Sophie, we are also in the middle of another thing that I can’t talk about. It’s not as big as the others, but it’s exciting for me. If you follow my personal (more nerdy) blog you might be able to figure out what the other thing is soon (I haven’t written the post yet, but I have a post planned relating to the thing).

Anyway, we’ll have a lot of exciting news in the next few months (if everything goes according to plan), and I’m hoping to blog a little more often than once every 424 days. Maybe I’ll just shoot for at least one more blog post before the end of the year. That way if I get two in I’ll feel really good about it.

Thanks for continuing to care for our family even if you thought we may have disappeared forever. We’re still here and we always enjoy hearing from you. We’ll enjoy any comments you leave and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Since I’m in the video embedding mood tonight I’ll embed one more for you. It’s very short.

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Filed under Exciting

Removing Bumps

From Family 2012

We’ve been busy! A lot has happened and we’ve been horrible about sharing. So here we go.

First of all, Rochelle and I have declared a holy war on bumps. My mom referred to it as a bump removing quest. If that’s the case, we’re about done with the quest. If we remove any more bumps, our bodies will soon cease to resemble humanoid figures.

First, Rochelle, being a red-haired, fair-skinned lady, had some moles removed to be on the safe side (we’re looking to confirm nothing is cancerous). We’re still waiting for the results, but we don’t feel there is much to be worried about.

Band-aids to the rescue!

While she was there, the doctor offered to remove a mole on her nose that protruded out a little. While not entirely unsightly, she decided it couldn’t hurt to be gone with it. So now she proudly wears a Band-aid where her bump used to be.

Just before she went to see her doctor about the moles, I decided to get my bump removed. Mine was a large cyst on the back of my head, in the right-hand hemisphere. It was about the size of a small marble melted into my skull, though it was obviously soft tissue.

The surgeon who would perform the surgery was wonderful. She reminded me of a good friend of ours; a certain lady living in Colorado with several children who has an imposing figure and a warm personality. We love her and her family dearly, and it was nice having a surgeon who commanded the same level of trust and warmth, especially since she would be the first person to ever cut me open.

The bump on the back of my head had become a long running joke among my coworkers. It quickly became known as “the bump” and it was said to be responsible for my oft appreciated intelligence and problem solving capabilities. Before I went in for the surgery one of my coworkers had me promise to ensure the surgeon would not remove the contents of the bump if it resembled a brain.

I shared this with the surgeon, and she promised that she would leave it alone if it looked like a brain. I saw it afterward, and it definitely did not look like a brain.

My battle wound. It's got medical super-glue on it.

Anyhow, the wound is just now beginning to feel sore, but I am glad to have my first surgery over with. I have a pretty intense irrational fear of needles, and that has been a huge barrier to me getting work like this done. It doesn’t mean I’ll be jumping under the knife for any little issue that needs resolving, but it does mean that I might be more willing to consider surgery now that I’ve had my insides messed with.

Books We are Reading

Brian

Sadly I’ve been on a bit of a reading-break. I’ve slowly been making my way through The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King with Micah for his bedtime stories, but I’m stuck at 35% of the way through the final book of the Hunger Games trilogy. I really don’t have a good excuse for not reading, and I’ll probably finish that soon. My next reading project is the Harry Potter series, since that came out in ebook format recently and we went ahead and purchased it for my Kindle. I’ll probably read it to Micah for his bedtime story, and work on shorter Kindle Singles and other free items from my collection in my personal reading time.

Rochelle

Rochelle is currently on the Children of the Mind, the final book of the Ender Saga. She had read the first and third books in the series before, but never all of them together. The whole four book series was on sale for about $15 not long ago, so we got them. That’s a great series. Once she finishes the final book she plans on going to the library to get more books (she took a vacation from using the library, but she wants to get back into it).

How the Kids Are

Micah

From Family 2012

Probably some of the biggest news this time comes from Micah. A few weeks ago I learned that ThinkGeek was going to host an event at their headquarters just an hour from our house.

If you’re not familiar with ThinkGeek, they are an awesome Internet-based vendor that caters to the nerdiest, geekiest crowd out there. They specialize in all things science fiction, bacon, ninja, games, science, technology, and anything else you might be able to geek out over.

So when they posted an application to come out and visit them, I immediately registered. It was going to be a pizza and a movie night, along with a raffle for some prizes, and an opportunity to help them get rid of 33 old eMac computers they once used for their customer service representatives. I thought it could be kind of neat to get one of the eMacs for Micah. Then, in the application, I saw that they would allow you to bring one guest, and that the event was supposed to be kid friendly (“geeklings welcome,” they said).

Rochelle doesn’t know this, but here’s how it played out in my head. She was on the phone. My first thought was to bring her with me, since we do everything together and I knew she liked ThinkGeek. But since she was on the phone and I wanted to submit my application quickly (this is a very popular company, and I knew there would instantly be hundreds of applications), I didn’t have time to ask her if she had any plans for the night of the event. I waited for a minute, but it was apparent she wasn’t going to get off the phone any time soon.

I thought about bringing Sophie, since she’s young and easy-going in public, but I knew the event would go late into the evening, and I thought she might get bored or cranky. Then I thought about how often I saw Micah reading through the ThinkGeek catalog. He did it frequently, often talking about the products in there. I knew he’d love to visit their headquarters, and so I decided to just list him as my guest.

I didn’t think I’d really get selected anyway.

So I was surprised to see that we were accepted just a few days later. I didn’t tell Micah though, I wanted it to be a surprise.

The weekend before the ThinkGeek visit Micah and Rochelle went to a scouting event while I took Sophie out to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy center (more on that below). Sophie really enjoyed the alone time with her dad, and we had a great time. So it was only fitting that Micah got the next weekend with me.

All I told Micah about the event before we went was that it was an extremely unique opportunity, and that out of hundreds of applicants (I didn’t know the exact figure) we were one of only twenty applications to get accepted. In all, there would be just over forty people there. Micah speculated that there must have been a thousand applicants, but that figure seemed a little high to me.

When we pulled up and he saw the ThinkGeek sign in the window of the office building, he said he got so happy he almost cried. He is known for being melodramatic and exaggerating things, but I could tell he was pretty excited.

I didn’t get any photos, but you should have seen him roaming around with the tour group, looking at all of the things he had seen in the catalogs, and marveling at all of the geekiness.

Then we got to the room full of eMacs, and I told him we got to take one home for him. I was the first one in to get a good keyboard and mouse from the box (with a power cord, of course), then I handed those to him to carry and I heaved an eMac into my arms. The nice tour guide lady (@Stephonee) held the door for us and we took it straight out to the car.

Micah thought the movie was infinitely more humorous than any of the other 42 invitees, he spilled soda on himself, he accidentally poured ground red pepper on one of his slices of pizza, and he didn’t get too upset when we didn’t win anything from the raffle (we still got a free computer). He even got to ask one of the ThinkGeek employees how the company got started (you’ll have to ask him about that yourself sometime).

Oh, and at the end we were informed that there had indeed been about a thousand applications for the event. So yeah, Micah was right.

The next day we set up his computer. He has been extremely pleased with it. We are not going to allow the machine on the Internet (for a vast variety of reasons), so I’m transporting downloaded .dmg files (disk images to install Mac software) on a thumb drive to install on his system) from our family desktop, and anything he wants to print will be transferred to the family computer since he won’t have a printer either. He’s got lots of homework helping software, in addition to some fun creativity software, and even a couple of games. I keep my eye open for more free software all the time. Since it’s an older system it’s not hard to find free stuff.

If you know of anything fun we could put on an older Power PC chipset running OS X 10.5 (Leopard), please let us know!

Oh, and a few weeks ago he also learned to ride a bike finally. I spent a couple hours helping him balance and get a feel for how it moved, then after mulling it over in his head for a couple of weeks he went out and tried it on his own and was able to do it almost as though he had never needed lessons. He picked it up pretty quickly.

Sophie

From Family 2012

Like I said earlier, Sophie and I got to go to the Udvar-Hazy center together. It was a lot of fun. It was the first Saturday after shuttle Discovery had been moved in, so there were a ton of people lined up to see her. We got there an hour before they opened the doors. Sophie was excited to see the shuttle, and when we got home she started playing more with a toy shuttle I had picked up a long time ago and given to her.

A couple of quick anecdotes about Sophie: Lately Sophie has taken to making up cute little songs about just about anything. She’ll just randomly burst into song about things that she hears or thinks of. It’s really cute, but sometimes it’s a little creepy. Last night Rochelle was giving me an update about a little girl who had gone missing in the local area. Rochelle said, “they found her, she had drowned in the lake.” Behind us we hear Sophie burst into song, “Drowned in the lake, drowned in the lake. Drowned in the lake, drowned in the lake!” It was a sweet voice singing a pretty melody, but my goodness… What strange things she sings about!

She’s also been a little obsessed with using death, dead, killed, and other similar ideas in her play and everyday communication. At a children’s play-place tonight she and a much younger little girl were playing. Sophie had removed her socks before the other little girl arrived so that she could climb up the plastic slide easier. But with the younger girl I didn’t want Sophie going up while the little girl came down. That could have been bad. So I called Sophie over to me (sitting just a few feet from the father of the little girl) and asked, “Sophie, what do you think would happen if that little girl came down the slide while you were climbing up it?”

Sophie responded, “I could bonk my head, then I would fall over, and I will be dead.”

The father next to me was quite amused, especially since Sophie always delivers lines about death with a mixture of deadpan humor, frankness, and sweetness.

Not a whole lot more to say about that silly girl. She’s obviously been cute and silly the whole time since our last update, but we’ve been pretty busy, and the numbing medicine is really starting to wear off, leaving my scalp in pain and creating an intense distraction that is making writing quite difficult.

Until Later

We try to keep this blog from going so long without updates, but I’ve long since decided that making promises about the frequency of posts is a futile endeavor.

We love you all, and we appreciate all of your readership, prayers, love, and support. Stay tuned. If you don’t like visiting our blog to find that no updates have posted since the last time you checked, you can subscribe to the RSS feed, or you can sign up to get updates in your email inbox using the form in the upper right-hand corner.

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Filed under Milestones

And That’s a Wrap

From Family 2011

I’ve gone more than seven months without blogging here. Gee, you’d think life has been stressful or something…

Gladly, the stress in our home has been mostly distributed among the adults. Micah and Sophie are happily unaware of the majority of our family stress, although I’m sure they feel it from time to time, especially on days when Rochelle and I are not at our best.

Regrettably (and gladly, I suppose), we are aware that a huge source of unnecessary stress in our home comes from clutter, disorder and excess physical belongings. They distract from our spiritual needs, they cloud our thinking, and they impart their chaos to our thoughts. I’ve been aware of this growing problem for many years now, but only recently has it become so acute that I began contriving a solution and countermeasures.

As long as I can remember I’ve had a fondness for simplicity, a longing for a concise collection of belongings that could be easily transported, sorted and organized. Of course I haven’t always lived that way very well. I tend to hang on to things that I may need one day. Just in case. I love to be prepared, but preparedness isn’t about excess, it’s about necessary necessities.

I remember with great fondness my mission time in Mexico and my time living in small spaces as a student at SCAD. Moving from place to place required no more than a couple of hours to pack, and most (if not all) of my belongings could be carried by me alone. I sorely miss that mobility, and now my goal is to get my entire family into a position where we know what we own, why we own it, and how each item of our belongings is essential to our goals and priorities.

This will be a slow process, and one that I hope to share with you along the way.

If you’re interested, I highly recommend a book that I read recently called “Simplify” by Joshua Becker. I believe it is for Kindle only, but it is inexpensive and can be read from any Kindle reading application, even in a Web Interface that Amazon provides.

If you do not wish to pay for the book, you should still check out Becker’s website. Most of the ideas in his book are outlined in ample detail in his many blog posts there. I should warn you that I find his tone regarding simplification to be a tad overzealous at times, often coming off as a bit preachy. Rochelle didn’t feel preached at when she read Simplify, but I did in a couple of places. So if you’re not one to be preached at, perhaps just following our adventures here with my sporadic blog posts will be sufficient.

Although, in my excitement I can’t promise I won’t preach at you either. Simplification is something that I believe we should all strive for.

That is our great endeavor this year. It isn’t a new year’s resolution, but it is a change in our home that began with the new year.

The rest of our family news will be covered in greater detail below, but suffice it to say that we’ve experienced a wonderful close to 2011, and we are all looking forward to 2012.

In the latter half of 2011:

  • Micah started at a new school.
  • Sophie saw a neuro-ophthalmologist.
  • We flew out to visit my parents in Arizona.
  • Rochelle and I got new shoes.

Books We are Reading

Brian

Hurray! I’m reading again. My main Christmas gift this year was a new Kindle Touch. Since I got my Kindle, I’ve actually read several books. Most of them have been small, free books (just to get my reading muscles warmed back up after such a long period of minimal use), but I did read The Hunger Games, book one. I enjoyed it, but I can’t say it was one of my favorites. The story was excellent, but I wasn’t able to connect with the characters, and the first person perspective paired with the present tense writing style didn’t agree with me. I think I’ll enjoy the movie, and I plan on reading the next book in the trilogy soon.

Currently, I am actually attempting to finish nine books that I’ve started in the last year. The one I started most recently on my Kindle is The Frog Princess. I’m not going to recommend this book to anyone except the most curious. It’s not horrible, but I’m only a third of the way through and I am going to have to force myself to finish it. I want to finish it, but it’s not the best writing for me.

If you really want to keep up with my reading, I log all of my progress on books I am currently reading, rate and review books I’ve read, and I even keep track of books I intend to read at a site called Goodreads. Here’s the link to my profile page there: http://www.goodreads.com/brianhaddad

Rochelle

Rochelle has always read a ton. She is currently knee deep in her twelfth read-through of the Harry Potter series. I think she’s on book 5 or somewhere thereabouts. I lose track of how many times she’s read them and which book she is on.

For Christmas she got all 8 of the Harry Potter movies on Blu-Ray. We’ve been watching them since we got back home from our little vacation, and so far we’re halfway through the sixth movie. I haven’t read the books, so I’m trying to enjoy the movies just as they are, but I can’t help but notice inconsistencies in the characters and holes in the plots – all of which Rochelle assures me is the result of the movies being inaccurate. I plan to read the Harry Potter series once the ebooks are released later this year.

Rochelle is also on Goodreads, and she too keeps track of books she liked, books she plans to read, and sometimes even books that she is currently reading (unless she is reading something that she’s read before). You can visit her profile there at: http://www.goodreads.com/rochellehaddad

How the Kids Are

Micah

From Family 2011

This year Micah started going to a new school. For his first two years here in Maryland he attended a school just outside of the military base where we live. The school was mediocre at best, often causing more problems than it solved with new policies and rules.

By the end of his second grade year there, Rochelle had nearly reached the limits of her patience dealing with the school, and to her great delight a new public charter school was granted permission to operate on  base.

Unfortunately, the new school, called Imagine Andrews, does not yet have a dedicated, official school building (they are imagining they have a school building). For this year they are stationed in a run-down, hastily remodeled maintenance building at the edge of one of the base golf courses. By next school year they hope to complete construction on an actual school building, complete with a much needed cafeteria, gymnasium, playground and additional classroom space.

The curriculum seems to be challenging Micah so far, which is good. There are several problems, since it is a new school being run by a new faculty in cramped conditions, but we are doing our best to remain positive and supportive of their efforts.

Micah, along with the rest of us, was excited to go back to Arizona to visit his Grandma and Grandpa Haddad. Amazingly, neither of our children showed any concern that Santa wouldn’t be able to find them in a different home.

Micah came home with plenty of cool gifts, including some fun games and projects, Lego sets, spy gear, and some books. He doesn’t know it yet, but his toy collection is going to be drastically reduced under our new policy of simplification, and we are going to help him ensure that his toys are limited to the most versatile, fun toys that he can find. Of course, we aren’t going to be totally oppressive with this, but it will be good for him to be discerning and thoughtful about what to keep and what to get rid of. I learned a lot as a child when my parents would make me dump my toy collection on the ground and think hard about what to keep. I’m hoping he’ll remember the activity with the same fondness that I do now.

Sophie

From Family 2011

Sophie is doing especially well. Every day she shows us new ways that she is smarter than we previously suspected, and she is developing an awesome sense of humor, along with a sharp attitude.

As mentioned above, she did have to see a neuro-ophthalmologist. It started when her last MRI in November generated some concern. We do not yet have any real reason to worry, but there appears to be some thickening in an area that her doctors are sure is merely scar tissue. It is not unheard of for scar tissue to thicken a little, even a few years after surgery. However, there is a possibility that this thickening could be a type of tumor growth.

Some of you have been lucky enough to see Sophie recently, and if you’ve seen her recently it’s likely she’s shown you her “eye trick.” She recently learned that she can roll her eyes up and point them in two different vertical directions. When she showed her doctors, they decided to send her to a specialist (the neuro-ophthalmologist) to see if the anomaly could be related to a new tumor growth.

With this new specialist, Dr. Avery, Sophie was a little angel. He was particularly impressed with her every step of the way through the appointment. He assessed her vision with one of the most in-depth eye exams I’ve ever seen, always amazed at her intelligence, cooperation and maturity. He couldn’t stop raving about how well she was doing.

Near the end of the examination he informed us that she would need eye drops to dilate her pupils. He said that it would “S-T-I-N-G a little” and that there was usually a lot of “S-C-R-E-A-M-I-N-G” with other children. Rochelle and I looked at each other, then told him that he didn’t need to spell it out with her. We explained to Sophie that Dr. Avery was going to put some drops in her eyes that would sting and hurt a little, but that it would go away fast.

I had her rest her head in my lap and helped the doctor hold her head still while he applied the drops. She barely budged, and didn’t complain even a little. Dr. Avery’s amazement was complete. He couldn’t recall precisely the last time he had seen such a cooperative, brave patient.

In the end, Dr. Avery concluded that the eye issue is a result of the original tumor and swelling that she had two years ago, though there was no visible sign that it was a direct result of the swelling (apparently you can see that sort of damage quite clearly even years later on the back of the eye). He was certain that there was no evidence that this eye problem was a sign of any new tumor growth, which came as a great relief to us all.

Sophie especially loved the trip out to Arizona, and had been talking about seeing her uncles, aunt, cousins and grandparents for several weeks beforehand.

For Christmas she also got some craft items, some books, a few toys and her favorite: a pink Nintendo DSi. She may not look terribly excited in the photo above, but she plays it nearly every day, and has a particular fondness for a certain princess game.

Sophie’s next MRI is in February (on Valentine’s day) and we will likely post an update after we get the results.

Until Later

Especially now that we have something specific to write about, and since its process will help me feel more organized about life in general, I expect to be a little better about blogging. But alas I’ve never successfully promised to be better about blogging, and I’m not going to make any promises!

I trust that you’ve learned to be satisfied with my ineptitude at blogging, and I should likewise be more forgiving with myself.

It is our deepest and greatest hope that all of you have transitioned safely and happily into 2012. We look forward to making sure we blog at least once this year, and we also look forward to your emails, Facebook posts, phone calls, text messages and old-fashioned paper mail.

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Filed under Celebrations, Exciting, Holidays, Sophie PMA, Vacation